We'll Have a Time

Friday, January 1, 1999

Lately, I've been feeling more than a little unimpressed with pop music. I buy new albums from my favorite bands and respond with a resounding "eh." I try listening to new, much beloved (and hyped) bands (like, say, Death Cab for Cutie) and respond, once again, "eh."

So, the other day on a mailing list someone mentions falling in love with a song by Dear Nora. Never heard of them, but work is slow, so I download "Since You Went Away."

Damn.

I mean, we're not talking about anything new or groundbreaking. It comes as no surprise that they're from the Pacific Northwest (Portland, to be specific) and have that K Records-lofi vibe to them, but completely missing any sense of self-importance that has made that scene so hard to stomach in recent years. Nothing exciting in the arrangements -- guitar, bass, drums, female vox. Sonically, this band could have released 7"'s on Harriet and fit right in with early Vehicle Flips and Lotus Eaters without missing a beat.

But the songs are so darn charming. They manage to do the light, mid-90's indie pop without resorting to being overly twee (Tokidoki, Jumprope) or overly influenced by the Beach Boys and their ilk (Apples in Stereo).

Really, the only flaw is that the songs are just too short. Most songs clock in at 2 minutes or less, and with only 12 tracks, it's over too quickly.

To get started with Dear Nora, download Since You Went Away from Magic Marker Records now.

-- some more thoughts on Dear Nora a week later --

A day hasn't gone by when I haven't listened to this album, which is saying a lot. It comes with me everywhere. (Incidentally, a drive to the supermarket coincides perfectly with the playing of the first three tracks on the album. What timing!

I can already tell that this is going to be THE album I associate with Spring 2001.

Rating: A- (Would be higher, but the songs just aren't long enough)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides